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JAKARTA, 11 July 2005 - Gender discrimination occurs in various layers of society and the existing child preference among Indonesian couples proves that it starts very early in life. Sadly, women are also responsible in preserving various discriminative practices in the society.

Experiences in various countries showed that inequality is linked to incomplete education due to early marriages, accelerating the spread of sexually-transmitted infections and HIV/AIDS, increased reproductive health risks because of teen pregnancy and lack access to health services and increased gender-based violence.

The theme of this year’s World Population Day on July 11th is gender equality and with the prevailing inequalities, it gives a good opportunity to raise the public awareness that gender equality allow women to pursue an education, have options for self-development, earn an income, access (reproductive) health services, plan their family and future and improve their quality of life and that of their family members. In turn, empowering women - constituting around half of the country’s population – contributes to efforts for poverty eradication and national development.

Statistics in Indonesia: 
Gender issues have not been properly addressed in Indonesia and this is reflected in the fact that the country ranks 91 out of 144 countries in the Gender-related Development Index (GDI) and 33 out of 71 countries for the Gender Empowerment Measures (GEM) in 2002.

  • In education: More and more women enjoy primary and secondary education but there is a gender gap in higher education level where 54.1% men and only 45.9% women continue their study to university.
  • In work force: compared to men, women face greater disadvantages in finding works. The sex gap in unemployment is greatest at the highest level of education where women’s rate of unemployment is 18.3%, which is more than double that of men at 8.8%.
  • According to ILO’s 2000 data, women’s influx to lower-paid end of the labor market results in lower wages for women: at slightly over two third of men’s earnings.
  • In reproductive health: gender inequality is linked with death in pregnancy and childbirth and accelerating the spread of sexually-transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV/AIDS. In Indonesia, the prevalence of HIV/AIDS is currently below 1%. However, its spreading rate has prompted the governemnt to declare it a serious threat to national development.
  • Gender inequality is also linked to various types of gender-based violence. A 2004 data shows that there were 14,020 cases of violence, including domestic violence, violence in society and women trafficking. The figure almost doubled that of the previous year at 7,787 cases.
  • In decision making: despite the issuance of Law No. 12/2003, ensuring a 30% quota for women participation in the legislative body, women make up only 11% of the 500-membered House of Representative

    Activities for WPD: 
    A three-day Exhibition at the National Monument (Monas) complex, starting July 1st, 2005,

    - A workshop on women’s empowerment and family planning (preceded by a press conference) on July 2nd at 11:30 AM at the National Family Planning Coordinating Board (BKKBN)’s office,

    -A mass aerobic will be held on July 3rd from 6 AM to 9 AM at Monas complex. Vice President Jusuf Kalla will participate in the event. The peak of the event is at 9 AM where President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is scheduled to give his public address to officially mark the WPD commemoration.


For more information, please contact:

UNFPA --Maria Endah Hulupi
Media officers:

Tags: World Population Day